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10 Steps to Marketing with Business Weblogs

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Pick up any current business magazine these days, and you’re certain to see an article championing business blogs or the marvels of RSS publishing. Pundits and researchers are still debating the size and the relevance of the blog universe, but this much is certain–savvy marketers are blogging with or without acknowledgement from the media.

Business weblogs are not rocket science, but like any other communication medium; their effectiveness depends upon quality of content and execution. Before you join the chorus and begin publishing, follow the eStrategyOne 10 steps to marketing with Business Weblogs:

1–Make it New: Your business weblog is not your website. You must offer fresh content and a unique perspective not available from your traditional corporate communications.

2–Give it Voice: Your weblog must have an editorial voice–not corporate-speak, but the voice of a real individual. Think of your favorite editorial writer or humor columnist. Your weblog author should be an individual with a unique and recognized point-of-view. Your author’s comments should be informative, provocative, honest, and always in good taste.

3–Say it Often: A dynamic business weblog should be updated every few days, or at least weekly. Concentrate on the most compelling, current or urgent issues in your industry or marketplace. Provide breaking news updates in real time.

4–Ask for Feedback: Successful weblogs encourage reader participation. Make sure you enable comments, and actively solicit feedback. If you are afraid of criticism or controversy from your readers, stick to monolog publishing on your website.

5–Share the Wealth: Despite your pride of authorship, recognize the diverse interests of your readers. Successful business weblogs provide links to numerous outside resources and to other weblogs with like content.

6–Keep it Simple: Leave the Flash introductions to ad agency websites. Keep your weblog graphic design simple. Use color and images sparingly, and focus on readable text. Use categories, and make your archives easy to search. Use a template or an experienced designer to accomplish simplicity.

7–Equip Your Readers: Not all weblog readers or prospective readers have newsreader software. In fact, many readers are clueless regarding XML, RSS, or any technology with three initials. Make sure your readers can easily find your weblog online. Tell your readers where to download newsreader software, but also enable readers to receive your postings via email.

8–Promote in Multiple Channels: Not everyone is cruising aggregators looking for news feeds. Make sure you promote your business weblog in traditional channels, the old-fashioned way. Advertise your weblog in print, on your website, and via email marketing. Finally, do register with blog-specific directories.

9–Join Another Conversation: Weblog authors should read and post comments on other weblog sites. Consider this professional courtesy, not self-promotion. Encourage intelligent dialog in your industry or area of expertise.

10–Be Patient: Weblog syndication technology is nothing new–it’s merely recycled “push technology” circa 1998. While the adoption of consumer blogs is exploding, business weblogs are growing more cautiously. Expect a small readership initially, and allow your audience to grow organically.

Finally, if you find this article useful, visit my weblog, The eStrategyOne Buzz. Subscribe to the postings via XML or email, and share your comments. Pour yourself a mug of steaming Zimbabwe, and get blogging.

Rich Ottum is General Manager of eStrategyOne, an online marketing solutions company in Columbus, Ohio.

http://estrategyone.blogs.com

10 Steps to Marketing with Business Weblogs
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